CarGurus Marketing Efforts


To evaluate the marketing and audience targeting efforts of CarGurus ( over the last two years.

Early Findings


Our initial research indicates there is no company called Car Guru, but there is one called CarGurus, which we assume is the company of interest and, therefore, have based on research on this company.
  • In December 2018, CarGurus launched a new mass-media brand campaign, "Detective: The Story Continues," building off the success of its inaugural "Detective" campaign.
  • The original campaign launched in 2017 and aired in the Nashville, Austin, and Denver markets, as well as nationally via YouTube.
  • The new campaign will include 30-second spots, entitled "Parents" and "Obvious," that will air on broadcast and cable networks, as well as digital channels, such as YouTube and Facebook.
  • The campaign focuses on how fast and easy the process of car-selling can be with CarGurus with an emphasis on its car deal rating system, which goes from "Great" to "Overpriced."
  • CarGurus' marketing efforts have been largely successful, doubling brand awareness and making it the "largest car shopping site in the U.S. by unique monthly visitors* and grow its U.S. average monthly sessions 49 percent year-over-year in Q3 2018."
  • For both campaigns, CarGurus worked with ad agency Plum14, Chirp Productions, and Ocean Media.
  • CarGurus provides advice to partner dealerships in terms of digital advertising and search engine marketing.
  • CarGurus uses data analytics, powered by vAuto, Clarivoy, and Vistadash, to help their dealerships understand the car-buying journey, which often has as many as 24 touchpoints.
  • CarGurus' sales and marketing expenses for 2017 totaled $236.2 million, 74% of total revenue.


  • CarGurus' 33 million monthly shoppers are largely in the 35-44 (20%+) and 45-54 (20%+) age ranges, followed by 55-64 at around 17%.
  • Their shoppers are 70% male, 55% college educated, 74% head of household, and 60% have a household income of at least $75,000.
  • Nearly half of CarGuru shoppers know the make and/or model of the vehicle they want and plan to lease or buy a car within one month.
  • As of their first campaign in 2017, their target market was primarily "in-market auto shoppers," and specifically men and millennials, but the campaign was intended to expand brand awareness.

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